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Where Taxpayers and Advisers Meet

Higher Earner Employee - SelfAssessment

Joined:Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:24 am
Higher Earner Employee - SelfAssessment

Postby helg58 » Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:32 am

No experience with tax, 32 years, always had only income from employment, my pay has crossed the high earner level a nearly two years back. I also moved address in September 2018, advised HMRC of new address that December. Since then I had NO COMMUNICATION from the Tax Office. Until then I was receiving lots of Updates on my Tax code, not that I knew what to do about them, all tax was deducted at source so I did not miss them - simply thought there was no use for them anyway...
SUDDENLY a week ago I get a penalty notice for not filing a tax return. I looked at a few websites and realised that I should have filed a tax return for 2019/20. It arrived at my correct new address - the first letter from HMRC that ever reached me there in nearly 3 years, £1200! I nearly fell off my chair.
I have zero experience with taxes - as I said, all deducted at source, NIL other income or anything that could be relevant for the return (I looked up the online version and I would tick all the boxes NOT APPLICABLE except my income)
When I called HMRC it turned out that they entered my correct address April 23 2021 - it must have been triggered by my new employer (from 8 April) giving them some sort of update. If that is so, why did they not get it when I previously changed jobs (February 2019), they must have received a notice from THAT employer as well?
So they missed that update, they did not act upon my letter from December 2018 either, and they only sent the penalty notice now (it is dated 25 August but only reached me 18 September!)
To prepare my appeal I would love to find out at what date this extra reporting requirement for higher (empolyed) earnings came into force. I could not find an answer on this forum, on the web or on HMRC site.
Any opinions in addition to this question would be appreciated.
My tax burden is more than high, I intend to take this all the way, there are legal precedents that say that they cannot simply argue that not knowing the law is no valid excuse

Joined:Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:26 pm

Re: Higher Earner Employee - SelfAssessment

Postby bd6759 » Mon Sep 27, 2021 12:27 am

Focus on what the penalty is for. HMRC are alleging that you have not complied with a notice to make a return of your income (you are only required to make a return if HMRC have given you notice to do so). The burden is first on HMRC to show that you were served a return.

A notice is served if it is posted to your current or last known address. HMRC don’t keep a copy of the notice, but it is reasonable to presume it was posted to the address they held for you on the date it was issued. If their records show your address wasn’t updated until after the date on the notice, and you can show that they were informed before that date of your new address, then the return wasn’t properly served.

Appeal against the penalty on the grounds that the notice to file a return wasn’t properly served and that you have a reasonable excuse for the failure.

Asked them to provide evidence showing you which address the notice was sent to.

Their response will determine your next move.

Joined:Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:22 pm

Re: Higher Earner Employee - SelfAssessment

Postby Jholm » Mon Sep 27, 2021 9:27 am

Do you or your partner by any chance receive child benefit?

I would guess at this point that you were issued a tax return to complete in relation to the High Income Child Benefit Charge.

Joined:Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:24 am

Re: Higher Earner Employee - SelfAssessment

Postby helg58 » Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:30 pm

Thanks guys, guess it is their word against mine on address change, I sent two letters, unfortunately not by registered/recorded mail, and also changed jobs in Feb 2019 (only at the end of 2018/19 tax year I slipped to higher earner status), but either the new employer did not put my correct address (which he had) when he put my PAYE info to HMRC or it was not used by HMRC to update my address. When I changed jobs two years later it was that that triggered HMRC updating my address (Started Job 8 April, they updated record 23 April 2021). So naturally they will claim they send me notice to file. But it was the OLD ADDRESS. So how is this resolved? As I had never dealt with HMRC all my life, was on PAYE, had no other income....what COULD I have done differenlty?>

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